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Dominican Republic

The Dominican Republic is a Spanish-speaking representative democracy located on the eastern portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola. A legacy of unsettled, mostly non-representative, rule for much of the 20th century--most notably the brutal 32 year reign of US sponsored dictator Rafael Leonidas Trujillo and later Joaquin Balaguer--was brought to an end in 1978 when free and open elections ushered in a new government.

The country is a fomer territory of the United States and since independence, its history has been marred by constant US intervention. The most infamous example of this occurred in 1965, when the republic's elected President Juan Bosch[?] was overthrown by an American backed right-wing coup. American troops later invaded, assisting in establishing the rule of Joaquin Balaguer, and ensuring Juan Bosch's constitutional government never return to power.

The country's economy is highly dependent on tourism. Since the early 1960s, economic problems have led to a vast migration of Dominicans to the US, mainly to large east coast cities. New York City's Washington Heights is so densely populated by Dominicans, it is commonly referred to as Quisqueya Heights. Quisqueya was the name given to the eastern side of Hispaniola by its original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians[?]. Dominicans are now one of the largest Latino groups in the US.

Dominicans are notorious baseball lovers, and almost all major league baseball teams have at least one Dominican ball player.

The capital is Santo Domingo. The second largest city is Santiago de los Caballeros[?].

The Dominican Republic is known for a form of music called merengue, which has been popular since the mid- to late-1800s.

From the CIA World Factbook 2000 and the U.S. Department of State website. Not Wikified.

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